Download Curriculum Vitae

Hao Zhu earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Duke University, followed by an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and MIT. He underwent training in internal medicine at University of California, San Francisco and medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Zhu performed postdoctoral research at Boston Children’s Hospital, where he explored connections among RNA biology, cancer and regeneration in mouse models. In 2012, he joined the faculty of UT Southwestern and the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern. He is also an attending physician in the Multidisciplinary Liver Cancer Clinic at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Zhu is the recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists (2012), a CPRIT Scholar Award (2012) and a Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grant (2016).

The Zhu laboratory is interested in understanding the relationship between injury, regeneration, and cancer. They are focused on identifying the genes and mechanisms that regulate regenerative capacity in the liver and understanding how these contribute to hepatocellular carcinoma development – the third leading cause of cancer death in the world.

Zhu Laboratory


Medical School
Harvard Medical School (2005)
University of California, San Francisco (2007), Internal Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (2011), Hematology Oncology

Research Interest

  • Epigenetics
  • Liver cancer
  • Mechanisms of organ regeneration
  • RNA biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Identification of adult nephron progenitors capable of kidney regeneration in zebrafish.
Diep CQ, Ma D, Deo RC, Holm TM, Naylor RW, Arora N, Wingert RA, Bollig F, Djordjevic G, Lichman B, Zhu H, Ikenaga T, Ono F, Englert C, Cowan CA, Hukriede NA, Handin RI, Davidson AJ Nature 2011 Feb 470 7332 95-100
Lin28a transgenic mice manifest size and puberty phenotypes identified in human genetic association studies.
Zhu H, Shah S, Shyh-Chang N, Shinoda G, Einhorn WS, Viswanathan SR, Takeuchi A, Grasemann C, Rinn JL, Lopez MF, Hirschhorn JN, Palmert MR, Daley GQ Nat. Genet. 2010 Jul 42 7 626-30
A role for Lin28 in primordial germ-cell development and germ-cell malignancy.
West JA, Viswanathan SR, Yabuuchi A, Cunniff K, Takeuchi A, Park IH, Sero JE, Zhu H, Perez-Atayde A, Frazier AL, Surani MA, Daley GQ Nature 2009 Aug 460 7257 909-13
BMP signaling restricts hemato-vascular development from lateral mesoderm during somitogenesis.
Gupta S, Zhu H, Zon LI, Evans T Development 2006 Jun 133 11 2177-87
Analysis of thrombocyte development in CD41-GFP transgenic zebrafish.
Lin HF, Traver D, Zhu H, Dooley K, Paw BH, Zon LI, Handin RI Blood 2005 Dec 106 12 3803-10
Regulation of the lmo2 promoter during hematopoietic and vascular development in zebrafish.
Zhu H, Traver D, Davidson AJ, Dibiase A, Thisse C, Thisse B, Nimer S, Zon LI Dev. Biol. 2005 May 281 2 256-69
Mutation in the transcriptional coactivator EYA4 causes dilated cardiomyopathy and sensorineural hearing loss.
Schönberger J, Wang L, Shin JT, Kim SD, Depreux FF, Zhu H, Zon L, Pizard A, Kim JB, Macrae CA, Mungall AJ, Seidman JG, Seidman CE Nat. Genet. 2005 Apr 37 4 418-22
Use of the DsRed fluorescent reporter in zebrafish.
Zhu H, Zon LI Methods Cell Biol. 2004 76 3-12
Characterization of embryonic globin genes of the zebrafish.
Brownlie A, Hersey C, Oates AC, Paw BH, Falick AM, Witkowska HE, Flint J, Higgs D, Jessen J, Bahary N, Zhu H, Lin S, Zon L Dev. Biol. 2003 Mar 255 1 48-61
Use of zebrafish models for the analysis of human disease.
Zhu H, Zon LI Curr Protoc Hum Genet 2002 Nov Chapter 15 Unit 15.3

Honors & Awards

  • Member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation
  • SU2C Innovative Research Grant
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists
  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
  • Magna cum laude and James Tolbert Shipley Prize for MD Honors Thesis, Harvard Medical School